Wagner: Die Walküre - Mödl, Hotter, Windgassen, Brouwenstijn, Greindl; Keilberth. Barcelona (Bayreuth on tour), 1955
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Martha Mödl riveted audiences with her intense portrayals for over five decades. Her long career is made all the more impressive given the fact that her vocal prime was very brief. Even during the early to mid-1950s when her voice was working relatively well it was never a sure thing that a high note would come out. This performance of Die Walküre finds her on a day in which her voice was cooperating and we are not only treated to her magnetism, there is also some quite remarkable vocalism happening. She is joined by Hans Hotter as Wotan. Hotter sounds as magisterial as ever as the head god and delivers a poignant farewell. Wolfgang Windgassen’s Siegmund sounds a hue darker than he would in the 60s and Gré Brouwenstijn is an impassioned Sieglinde. Joseph Keilberth’s approach skews slightly slower, bringing out subtle details from Wagner’s very detailed orchestration. The sound is good.